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Christian homeschool science textbooks have long taught young earth creationism (YEC) almost exclusively. But observers say a growing number of parents want texts that also teach evolution.

"Homeschooling has broadened so much, and now includes ...

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Displaying 1–65 of 65 comments

bennett willis

August 12, 2013  12:08pm

Among the reasons that some homeschoolers want more facts in their science curriculum is that YEC is totally, completely, and obviously not factual. You can look at almost any portion of this earth and immediately conclude that 6,000 years is nowhere near adequate for things to come into their present state. They are concerned that when their graduates are called on to think honestly about what they have been taught (YEC) that when they reject that teaching they may also reject it all. So they want to go for some facts along with faith.

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Dale Lancaster

May 12, 2013  8:42am

William, you state that ones position on age of the universe has no bearing on how good a scientist you are. I disagree in that if you make the assumption that the universe is billions of years old you have started from the wrong place and building a whole framework of wrong conclusions. It is clear that atheistic scientists struggle everyday to try to keep their flawed framework together. Those with a starting point of a young universe do not struggle as much and in fact end up with a more elegant framework that supports a designer. The Bible is not unclear about the age of the universe, the readers are unclear on how to correctly challenge flawed atheistic science. Thus far, the facts that we know are true about science have not yet contradicted the positions that the Bible has stated for millennia. Beyond a strict scientific method approach, we have theories built upon wild hypothesis which is not science, but science fiction

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Karl Priest

May 11, 2013  7:06pm

Homeschoolers should learn that evolution is more impossible than the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, and the Headless Horseman. See http://www.lifescienceprize.org/ for a list of bluffing evolutionists.

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William Markham

May 07, 2013  10:52am

Thank you, Rick. I read each and every one of your comments and I have an appreciation for the depth in which you discuss the topic. I also appreciate your love for Christ. When we home school our children, we teach a large variety of topics in which science is only one. When we study scripture together, we are much more concerned with saving souls, going directly to those throughout the world who don't know Christ, than we are in science. In fact, I don't know if I've ever had a devotional discussion turn to science. It often turns, however, to someone we know who is far from God. And I think that's good. I appreciate your comments and discussion points, they were very helpful to me.

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Rick Dalbey

May 07, 2013  10:15am

Thanks William. It sounds like I was taught in Sunday School at my Christian Missionary Alliance Church the same way you were...a 6000 year old creation and the possibility of an indeterminately old earth. Today I don't see young creationism and Evolution as the only two alternatives. I don't fight science, what we discover is exciting, but I am definitely not a secular evolutionist. Very similar to Hugh Ross. Thanks for your gracious attitude. One day when we are face to face with the Savior, we will find out for sure. In the meantime I want to join arms with my brothers and sisters and fulfill the great commission.

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William Markham

May 07, 2013  6:05am

Rick: I have read all of these comments and have enjoyed the spirited discussion. Here's my point that I was trying to make. I don't believe that the Bible clearly addresses the age of the earth. I was taught the 6,000 year earth in Sunday School but I always wondered how long before the genealogies started did the earth exist? How long was the process of God's creation and how long did Adam and Eve live in the garden? So I don't accept any number like 10,000 years. Nor do I believe it matters to me as a Christian. My other point was that a person can believe anything they want as a Christian, about the origins of the earth, and still be an excellent research scientist. One does not have to believe agree with the evolutionist to contribute as an inventor, a researcher, or an innovator. In America's colleges, I know that is not true, but in business and industry, it is very true. Have a great day!

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MR EDWARD B DAVIS

May 06, 2013  11:44am

Families interested in showing children multiple views about origins may want to know about the series of columns on "Science and the Bible" that I did for BioLogos: http://biologos.org/blog/author/davis-ted. Ken Ham believes that many Christian youth abandon their faith because too few churches are pushing "young-earth creationism" hard enough. My view is quite different. IMO, too few churches show students multiple options as real possibilities for them--if they even discuss the issue(s) at all. Young people who are shown just one legitimate option are likely to discover on their own, within a few years, that the facts just won't fit into that box, and so they discard their faith along with that box. This is a bad situation. I encourage parents not to put all of their eggs in one basket.

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Michael Christoph

May 05, 2013  12:29pm

As a person who was exposed to homeschool curriculum when I was younger, I would like to caution homeschool parents about trusting textbook companies that claim to present both sides of the "argument". This generally means that science will be misinterpreted, misrepresented and probably even mocked. (I'm talking to you, BJU Press) If you want your children to truly understand what scientists are talking about when they use terms like "natural selection", "evolution" or even "light years", please don't expect that a young earth creationist will be able to equip them with that knowledge. If you want your children to be exposed to both concepts, please let each side present their own case.

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Rick Dalbey

May 01, 2013  5:45pm

Amen! So lets drop the 10,000 year number, you won't find it in scripture. I agree Don, lets stick to Sola Scriptura. Author Sarah Zylstra is right, we need to encourage Christian textbook writers to include other origins discussion as she makes a plea for (even YEC!). Don and I both agree with you JG, "Does a high view of Scripture allow an interpretation of evolutionary processes in an Old Earth (and Cosmos) directed by God for His purposes? I say Yes." I say yes too and I commend CT on this article, I have felt this way for years.

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DON DRAKE

May 01, 2013  4:47pm

Thank you, JG, this is pretty much the point I am trying to make. Sola scriptura! Or, "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Isaiah 8:20

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Rick Dalbey

May 01, 2013  3:30pm

Don, you have picked an arbitrary number, 10,000, as the upper limit for the age of the universe. Not 20,000, not 15,000 or even 11,000 and given it a non-biblical force of authority. You have made an idol and have developed a religion around it, will allow no difference of opinion and this is all you talk about. It is an obsession. All the author is proposing is to allow other origin theories to be presented in texts. I am not arguing whether it is true or not, simply whether it is scientific. And what is this hypocritical statement that I deny geneaologies when you don’t even know whether you are talking about 6000 years or 10,000 years? And what is the point of the geneology anyway, to establish the age of the universe or to establish authority for the Savior? I am not a secular evolutionists as I have said but what is this "evolution says the earth was a molten blob?" That has nothing to do with evolution.

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J G

May 01, 2013  3:30pm

Hey Rick and Don and everyone else! This is a forum for Christianity Today, not for Science Today or Education Today or Let's Bash Secular Culture and Academics Today. Yes, yes I know, Christian witness speaks to all these and more. But the important question on this topic that Christians can better address than everyone else is not "Whose science is better?" but rather, "Does a high view of Scripture allow an interpretation of evolutionary processes in an Old Earth (and Cosmos) directed by God for His purposes? I say Yes. And if so, then evolution is the stronger science. But if not, then evolution, however compelling on its own scientific merits, must be dismissed as contrary to revelation. We must start with the proper way to understand the Biblical witness on origins, not with which science is better.

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DON DRAKE

May 01, 2013  2:58pm

Rick, you're the one who divided the world into YECs vs evolutionists and long age creationists. The problem with long age creationism is the compromising of the Bible that often has to be done and your claim that a young earth is non-biblical is really puzzling. Long age means you have to deny the biblical geneologies at the least. You also have to compromise the order of creation. The Bible says the earth was covered with water initially, evolution says it was a molten blob. The Bible says life was first created on the land, evolution says life started in the oceans. The Bible says fish and birds were created together, evolution places fish long before birds. The Bibles places whales before land animals, evolution says land animals predate whales. How far do you want to compromise the Bible? If Genesis is wrong how can you believe in the resurrection of Jesus?

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Rick Dalbey

May 01, 2013  2:13pm

Don, why do you divide the world up into YEC creationists and evolutionists? ALL evangelical and fundamentalist Christians reject purely naturalistic origins. ALL evangelicals and fundamentalists believe God created Adam and Eve and the universe. A minority have coalesced around a non-biblical 6-10,000 year date for the creation of the universe and have made it a virtual religion. Young Earth is a NON-BIBLICAL diversion and distraction from the primary mission of the church to preach the gospel, cast out demons, heal the sick and make disciples of all nations. I only know a handful of folks at our 6000 member fundamentalist Foursquare church who are YEC (and that is their obsession). Most accept an old earth, creation and a committment to evangelism. The distance of a star, the number of rings in an ice core, the age of the universe have nothing to do with evolution or origins. Again, read http://www.reasons.org/articles/comments-on-the-rate-project.

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DON DRAKE

May 01, 2013  1:34pm

Rick, you keep accusing YEC creationists of not accepting the facts and even of conspiracy. Do you not know that this is exactly what evolutionists do? Academics who suggest something that doesn't fit the evolution paradigm are in danger of losing their positions and denied publication in scientific journals. The fanatic evolutionists attack them immediately. I can reword a couple of your statements and they will be at least as true as yours. For example: "Evolutionists reject every set of facts that shows a young earth. They reject every methodology for determining age that doesn’t show what they want." Also, I know you haven't read the RATE project results very closely from some of the false things you have said about it.

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Rick Dalbey

May 01, 2013  1:05pm

YEC diminishes the grandeur, size and age of creation and the vast marvels of an incomprehensively large universe which diminishes the size of God and breeds distrust of our senses. By every measure RATE determined the age of earth as billions of years, but that couldn’t be accepted so they attacked the measuring sticks. It doesn’t matter whether it’s ice cores, tree rings, radioisotopes, red shift, sediment layers, YEC will NOT accept the results. They must ALL be flawed. A 1 km ice core showing 160,000 years was dismissed as being at most 8500 years old. So when a 3 km ice core was exhumed showing 740,000 years, any chance YEC people will accept anything older than 10,000 years? YEC pretends to be Biblical but there is no mention in the Bible of a 10,000 year old earth. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.” God doesn’t deceive. YEC is akin to conspiracy theory.

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Rick Dalbey

May 01, 2013  12:29pm

Don, both YEC and conventional science do not use the same set of facts. YEC rejects every set of facts that shows an ancient earth. They reject every methodology for determining age because it doesn’t show what they want. And what they want is a non-Biblical age of the earth as less than 10,000 years. That is extra-biblical idolatry. The Bible clearly shows that God created the entire universe out of nothing and the discovery of the big bang 13.5 billion years ago stands in science as a monument to God’s existence and power as does the fine tuning of the parameters for life and the mathematical order and complexity of DNA. Science is not the enemy, it was ordained by God and leads us straight to the creator as Psalms 19 says. If we will be patient and humble God will show us not only why and who and when but HOW He created the universe.

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DON DRAKE

May 01, 2013  11:22am

If creationism is a "pseudo science" so is evolutionism. Both use the same set of observable facts in the present to explain that which cannot be observed about the past. And I believe there are a lot of books on evolution and almost every secular museum preaches evolution, so why do you attack creationists for what they do?

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James Stevenson

May 01, 2013  3:16am

Science and scientists of any significant standing believe in an old earth. Christians who want to take a literal translation of scripture are perfectly entitled to do so. However please do not bring in a pseudo science in the form of Creationism to challenge authentic scientific theory. The theories associated with YEC are fueled by opportunists out to make a quick buck, There is big business in their books, lecture tours and the absurd Creationist museum and theme park with dinosaurs walking into the ark with human beings.

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vic jones

April 30, 2013  11:33pm

Personally, I think homeschools should teach strengths and weaknesses of all modern views on origins, including young-earth creation and Darwinism. The reason is that we need people who can debate these issues with reason and critical thinking, rather than resorting to ad hominems and red herrings. As expected, articles like this stir up debates about age of the earth. Do readers know that Einstein showed time is relative? Do they know time slows down when travelling near speed of light or when near a black hole? Do they know time can appear to speed up (time-lapse video), slow down (slow motion), or even stop (photography)? Events that complete in 6 billion years can appear to have durations of 6000 years. 6000 years can pass when an event is viewed from one location, but the same event viewed from a different location literally takes 6 billion years to pass. I'm not pushing any particular view on origins. I'm saying that you don't know as much as you think you know about origins.

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james .

April 30, 2013  10:03pm

Rick Dalbey. In the final analysis, it does not matter what Hugh Ross thinks or even what the RATE scientists think. If the science says that you can measure the age of a rock by radiometric dating methods then lets test it! Bring a rock sample of known date of formation, from Mt Vesuvius, Krakatoa, Mt St. Helens etc... Then use that known date to test the accuracy of the radiometric dating method(and not the other way round.) If we know how the science works in general, test it on real samples. I gave you the readings from samples from the Mt Ngauruhoe solidified lava flows, now how do you explain that. Let's stay on the topic by following the test evidence and see where it leads us.

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Nathan Swenson

April 30, 2013  8:44pm

The Bible doesn't specifically say how old the earth is, but it does say Death didn't exist prior to the Fall, so unless we believe that all animals, as well as Adam and Eve were millions of years old before the Fall, I don't see how we can reconcile Scripture with Old Earth Theory.

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Rick Dalbey

April 30, 2013  8:14pm

I read the RATE study (Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth) on the ICR site. Then I read the response on the Hugh Ross site. Both. I read about the zircons, about the carbon 14 in coal and the the formation of polonium halos and the various anamolies. Did you read the response? They concluded that if decay rates have remained constant then far too much decay has occurred over Earth’s history to fit into the few-thousand-year timescale. Consequently they reasoned that decay rates must have changed and presented evidence for such a change. Don't get the results you want, shoot the messenger. These dating methods still give consistent and reliable data and as your geologist Andrew Snelling, said "the main geologist involved in the RATE project, acknowledges that “the quality and integrity of the radioisotopic data may often be doubtful on the one hand, but the concordances and a systematic consistency within the uniformitarian edifice remain.”

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james .

April 30, 2013  8:06pm

Rick Dalbey. As I read it, that is not exactly what the data says. Dr. DeYoung in his book “Thousands..not millions” quotes a summary of the RATE findings. I will chose just one data set. (The most dramatic to illustrate the point.): ** 11 samples were taken from solidified lava from Mt. Ngauruhoe, NZ which were reported to have had eruptions in 1949, 1954 and 1975. ** Measuring decay rates of parent to daughter isotopes the following were recorded : Potassium/Argon(K-Ar) = 0.27-3.5 million years(my); Rubidium/Strontium(Rb-Sr) = 133 + or – 87my; Samarium/Neodymium(Sm-Nd) = 197 + or – 160 my; and Lead-Lead(Pb-Pb) = 3,908 + or – 390 my. ** Now why do you think we have such discordant dates of millions of years when we have historic information on the formation of these lave flows occurring only a few decades ago?

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DON DRAKE

April 30, 2013  7:54pm

Rick, before you quote things from the RATE project, you should probably study it first. If nothing else, it shows that radiometric dating is fraught with problems, so why are we relying so much on it?

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Rick Dalbey

April 30, 2013  6:21pm

James, ICR is not disputing the amount of radioactive decay in the various rocks. They're saying radioactive decay must have sped up exponentially in the past. If we extrapolate the rate of decay currently observable it looks like the earth is 4.5 billion years old give or take 5%. That is what they all agreed to. But they insist the earth must only be 10,000 years old to satisfy Bishop Usher’s chronology. So, how do we squeeze 4.5 billion years of decay into 10,000 years? In fact, if you want to explain it all with the flood, which they do, how do we squeeze 4.5 billion years of radioactive decay into a few weeks or a year? That's of course what Robert Oppenheimer figured out how to do in 1945 with the creation of the atom bomb. How to rapidly accelerate a radioactive release in a tiny amount of uranium (tiny in comparison with ALL the earth’s radioactive rocks described here) which produced an earth vaporizing bomb. 4.4 billion years worth of radiation released in less than 1 year!

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Rick Dalbey

April 30, 2013  6:20pm

After an 8-year investigation, ICR announced results at a 2005 conference. Each speaker made a statement that the amount of radioactive decay seen in rocks indicates the Earth is billions of years old if decay rates remained the same. So they argued, those rates must have accelerated in the past. In otherwords, we don’t believe our results....all these measurements gave the same Billions of years age. We're looking for 10,000 years. Andrew Snelling, the main geologist involved in the RATE project, acknowledged “the quality and integrity of the radioisotopic data may often be doubtful on the one hand, but the concordances and a systematic consistency within the uniformitarian edifice remain." Of course, if you try to squeeze 4.5 billion years of radioactive decay into a year (accelerated rate) to explain it by the Flood, it would produce so much heat and radiation as to vaporize Earth’s surface and sterilize all life. read http://www.reasons.org/articles/comments-on-the-rate-project.

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james .

April 30, 2013  4:06pm

Robert Pulharic. I'm not disputing that there are radioactive decay rates. I am disputing the reliability of those decay rates to determine the age of rocks. The first test I suggest is to get a piece of rock and use say some 7 different radiometric dating methods to date that rock. Now using the scientific method, how reliable are the dates derived from these various dating methods to converge to say, even within 5% error on either side of the nominal value? We also have examples from the RATE project to demonstrate the unreliability of these radiometric dating methods. I repeat, the Hiroshima explosion tells you nothing about the reliability of dating rocks that's supposed to be millions of years old. You need a more rigorous test to demonstrate that.

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DON DRAKE

April 30, 2013  3:33pm

Preston, you are mixing observational science which gives us cars, TVs, computers and most of what we have with historical or origins science. Observational science works well but origins science requires many unprovable assumptions. To believe those assumptions is an act of faith.

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DON DRAKE

April 30, 2013  3:28pm

Robert, how about a couple more than a single piece: radiohalos, helium in zircon, polystrate fossils, red cells and protein in dinosaur bones.

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Rick Dalbey

April 30, 2013  3:14pm

Robert, I am a fundamentalist Christian by most standards of doctrine, but I do not believe in a 10,000 year old earth. My father was a fundamentalist Christian who also designed cylclotrons and nuclear experiment equipment for the Lawrence Radiation Lab in Livermore California (his specialty was designing systems in vacuums). He is not a YEC guy either. In fact, most of the people at our 6000 member fundamentalist Foursquare Christian church are not YEC. And the church I most admire, Bethel Church in Redding California, a fundamentalist church with a tremendous physical healing ministry, is not YEC in fact Hugh Ross, (old earth astronmer) teaches seminars there. The popularity of YEC is waning, thank God. But don’t automatically assume that fundamentalist Christian equals YEC. I believe God reveals Himself in the Bible and He reveals Himself in nature and if we will just let the investigation go where the data leads, we find harmony. I love science and I love the word of God.

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Preston Garrison

April 30, 2013  2:28pm

"Evolution is as much a religion as creation." This is the big lie of the YECs. It just isn't so. The YEC continually proclaims that one's conclusions are determined by one's assumptions. Of course, for the YEC this is true. He assumes that a particular interpretation of Genesis must be true and all subsequent evidence is twisted, distorted, rejected, whatever is necessary to support the initial assumption. But it isn't true of science. If it were really true that everything is determined by your assumptions, then there would be no point in going to the trouble to gather evidence. You could just pick the assumptions you like and go with that. But the truth is, with adequate evidence you can determine which model fits the best. And after years of reading the scientific papers, not the twaddle of the YEC gurus, I concluded that evolution happened, because that is what the evidence shows. It's not a religious belief - it's a conclusion from a lot of evidence.

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robert puharic

April 30, 2013  2:26pm

Don Drake ignores the fact there's not a single piece of data showing the earth is 10,000 years old. He ignores the fact the ONLY people who believe this are religious fundamentalists. That's a bias and it's fatal to Christianity.

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robert puharic

April 30, 2013  2:26pm

Don Drake ignores the fact there's not a single piece of data showing the earth is 10,000 years old. He ignores the fact the ONLY people who believe this are religious fundamentalists. That's a bias and it's fatal to Christianity.

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robert puharic

April 30, 2013  2:26pm

Don Drake ignores the fact there's not a single piece of data showing the earth is 10,000 years old. He ignores the fact the ONLY people who believe this are religious fundamentalists. That's a bias and it's fatal to Christianity.

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robert puharic

April 30, 2013  2:24pm

James, Hiroshima was proof we know about radioactive decay and fission. Radioisotope dating is radioactive decay. We understand that. Hiroshima is the proof.

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robert puharic

April 30, 2013  2:23pm

Textbook author seems to think we should return to science of 500 years ago. Unfortunately for Christians, Muslims were pre-eminent scientists of that age. And Jews such as Albert Einstein (ever hear of him?) were and are pre-eminent today. Science isn't based on any 'belief system'. It's a method. Period. It works far better than religion ever did in explaining nature. We've learned more in 100 years than we did under religion in 1000. Origins aren't 'believed'. We can test evolution and it passes with flying colors. It makes predictions that are testable. Religion, when it's made such predictions, has ALWAYS failed.

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DON DRAKE

April 30, 2013  2:21pm

Rick, you keep proving my point. You say, " throw away your 10,000 year limit and just measure." It would be nice if it were that simple, but you can't just measure without making assumptions. We just don't have a reliable yardstick. A quote from CMI sums it up pretty swell, "Since ice compresses vertically and spreads horizontally with depth, the annual layers thin with depth. The measured variables become confused by the middle of the ice core, and the confusion is especially noticeable in the ice-age portion of the core. The annual layer method works well in the upper part of the core for a few thousand years, but it requires some major assumptions to guide the interpretation of the middle and lower parts of the core. Based on their evolutionary/uniformitarian paradigm, the researchers assume that the ice sheet has been in equilibrium for millions of years."

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Rick Dalbey

April 30, 2013  1:45pm

Don, throw away your 10,000 year limit and just measure. For example, scientists in 2004 drilled a 3 Kilometer deep shaft in the Antarctic ice. By counting the dark layers which indicate the summer periods, (dust, pollen and atmosphere, same principal as tree rings), they arrived at an age of 740,000 years old for the deepest layer. We know these counting methods are accurate because we can correlate observed volcanic eruptions, droughts, snow depth and rings for several thousand years of recent recorded history. With tree rings we can see years of drought, years of lush growth, years of volcanism as well. Then I read a funny article by ICR that disputed an earlier dig in the 1980s which was 1 kilometer deep and counted 160,000 rings (or 160,000 years old). Of course ICR contended it couldn’t be older than 8,500 years old (surprise!). So this one in 2004 is 3 times deeper. What do you want to bet that ICR thinks it can’t be older than 10,000 years? Just measure. God doesn't decieve.

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DON DRAKE

April 30, 2013  1:26pm

Rick, take a look at what you are saying. " No matter what conclusion I come to, no matter how I measure, unless it says there is a 10,000 year upper limit it must be rejected because it doesn’t fit Bishop Usher’s chronology." Changing just a few words, the evolutionist would say, " No matter what conclusion I come to, no matter how I measure, IF it says there is a 10,000 year LOWER limit it must be rejected because it doesn’t fit Lyell's or Darwin's chronology." Evolution is as much a religion as creation. Bennet's comment can also be modified just as validly to read, "EVOLUTION requires you to continually disbelieve what your eyes see and your hands touch. Few can stand this over the long haul.” All of these things are interpreted according to the scientist's faith. How are you going to eliminate that? They may claim to be objective but they have no observable, testable, repeatable evidence.

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Rick Dalbey

April 30, 2013  12:55pm

Don, I am not concerned with origins here. I am concerned that you have decided by de facto that nothing in the universe can be older than 10,000 years. And if it appears 11,000, 20,000, 50,000, 500,000, one million, 10 million, one billion, there must be a problem with your measuring stick. No matter what conclusion I come to, no matter how I measure, unless it says there is a 10,000 year upper limit it must be rejected because it doesn’t fit Bishop Usher’s chronology. That is a fine faith position, but again, it in no way resembles science. Stick with your original proposition, it is very honest; science and your notion of faith are in conflict. I agree with Bennet’s comments here, “YEC requires you to continually disbelieve what your eyes see and your hands touch. Few can stand this over the long haul.”

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DON DRAKE

April 30, 2013  12:42pm

Rick, tree rings around 11,000 years? That's close to 10,000. Why aren't they older? This tends to support a young earth right there. Radioactive decay has dated some of the Mt. St. Helens rocks as thousands of years old. It's been shown to be subject to many problems. The same can be said for dating by every method you mentioned. All the dating methods require unproven assumptions.

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DON DRAKE

April 30, 2013  12:34pm

Rick, one must have faith to believe that the earth is billions of years old also. The so called scientific conclusions are arrived at based on a certain worldview. The evidence that is observable in the present doesn't say "Look at me I am 4 billion years old." It is all evidence viewed now and the evolutionist assumes his worldview and interprets it accordingly, but he can't run an objective, observable, repeatable experiment to prove that it supports his assumptions. Neither can the creationist, but the creationist, using the same evidence, can often claim support for his worldview just as effectively, if not more so, as the evolutionist. Origins science is not observable science. The best evidence for the origin of something is for someone to see it. History requires witnesses. Creationists believe they have a witness through the testimony of the Bible.

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Rick Dalbey

April 30, 2013  12:24pm

I believe all the miracles of the Bible, I believe God answers prayer today, I believe God heals today, I’ve seen it happen, I believe the Bible is the word of God. I am not a secular evolutionist. God asks us to use our senses to detect His handiwork, His design in the universe. I believe that is possible and God doesn’t lie or deceive. We determine age and distance by the movement of tectonic plates, depths of deposit in soil layers, tree rings (oldest go back 11,000 years. The King Clone creosote bush in the Mojave Desert is 11,700 years old) trigonometric parallax (measuring distance through trigonometry), red shift, Cephied Variables, the speed of light, radioactive decay, reading ice core rings, rate of DNA changes etc. If it’s been revealed to you by faith the universe is less than 10,000 years, your only recourse is to challenge your senses, challenge ALL the measuring sticks of science because nothing can exceed 10,000. But all our measuring sticks show an ancient creation.

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Rick Dalbey

April 30, 2013  11:59am

Don, I'm simply agreeing with James claim that science and religion are in opposition. I am not saying YEC is false, I am just saying that it is not scientific. One must have faith to believe that the earth is 10,000 years old because it certainly is not a conclusion arrived at through science as you have just established. As you have said, "Of course non-religious scientists would not give credence to a 10,000 year old earth."

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DON DRAKE

April 30, 2013  11:49am

Rick Dalbey, again you make another claim, "There are NO non-religious scientists that give credence to a 10,000 year old earth." Of course non-religious scientists would not give credence to a 10,000 year old earth. Why should they? They might have to become religious. What kind of argument is that? It has to fit into one of the fallacious categories.

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Rick Dalbey

April 30, 2013  11:33am

And James, by framing this as a contest between the reliability of biblical scripture versus the reliability of the authority of the world of science you are saying that YEC is not scientific. They are in opposition. I would agree with you heartily there. YEC bears no relation to science. There may be a few scientists that are YEC, but that is for reasons of faith, not science. There are NO non-religious scientists that give credence to a 10,000 year old earth.

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DON DRAKE

April 30, 2013  11:21am

Rick Dalbey, you said, "We have architectural remains and city records older than that." Prove it. I see many unsubstantiated claims among these comments. It's easy to make claims. Each of us have to examine the evidence. YEC has been very good at presenting the evidence, usually discovered by evolutionists, and showing how it actually supports the Bible. It continues to amaze me how any one can look at the astounding evidence for design in nature and the universe and still not see it. Evolutionists ignore anything that does not agree with their view. YEC acknowledges the evolutionists view and then interprets the same evidence from the creationists view. Evolutionists would never do this.

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Rick Dalbey

April 30, 2013  11:20am

Textbook, if we were talking about the inability of science to disprove the existence of God, I’m with you, that is what your apologetic arguments are designed for. They deal more with why questions rather than how. But that's not what we are discussing here. We are talking about simple measurements. Can we measure the distance of the stars? Are all the stars and galaxies in the universe which measure millions of light years away actually no more that 10,000 light years away? Despite appearance, are all the mountains on earth less than 10,000 years old? Are those 20,000 year old human habitations no more than 10,000 years old? Everywhere we look, everywhere we measure the universe has the appearance of antiquity. Did this all happen yesterday? That is not science, that is religion. Unlike Robert, I am a born again Christian and I have no problem with you beliving that, just don’t pretend it is science. Plus aknowledge that there is room for diversity of belief within Biblical exegesis.

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james .

April 30, 2013  10:56am

Robert Pulharic. The view I proposed is as far as I can see, is a biblical one. There are, as you know , many scientists who take the YEC view. For myself, I try to understand both positions as best as I can. Ultimately, the contest is between the reliability of authority of biblical scripture and the reliability of the authority of the world of science. Therefore, as a Christian I will take up the challenge. Re: your comment on Hiroshima, that, in my opinion, has got little, if anything, to do with the reliability of dating the age of the earth or the universe- which for me, is the more central issue when interpreting Genesis 1.

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Textbook Author

April 30, 2013  10:09am

First, Christianity Today is accurately titled, because the span of opinions expressed here covers the gamut of modern Christian beliefs. The idea that all science is fundamentally an objective, empirically-based activity is false. This is the lie that most scientists believe (because they uncritically accepted this) and even promote today. All science is founded on a belief system that cannot be empirically proven. What these individuals often don't want to admit is that the founders of all the main areas of science were themselves Christians, and a quite large majority believed in the Genesis account of origins. They were aware of Bishop Ussher's young-earth chronology (1650), and had no reason to disagree with it. THAT came in the 1800s. Science is presuppositional, so both sides will present evidence that supports the presuppositions of their belief system. You can't prove origins through empirical evidence alone; You can only accept the story's evidence you agree with by faith.

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robert puharic

April 30, 2013  6:32am

William, less that 5% of scientists believe the 'Biblical' view of creation (which is not biblical, but was invented in the 19th century). And ALL of them are fundamentalists. There's not a single independent scientist who accepts YEC. So your friend has let religion compromise both his objectivity AND his intellect. Which is one reason why Christianity is a disgrace, from someone outside looking in. Your friend isn't alone. About 50% of Americans are silly enough to believe this Christian nonsense.

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robert puharic

April 30, 2013  6:29am

James, since your view is wrong, there's no point in discussing it. If our understanding of physics was as wrong as you say it is, Hiroshima would never have happened.

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robert puharic

April 30, 2013  6:28am

Herman, quite frankly, that's nonsense. I'm a scientist, not a Christian so I know from a scientific viewpoint you're wrong. Having once been a Christian, I know you're simply here to tell us how smart you are.

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J G

April 30, 2013  12:23am

A high view of Scripture does not require an interpretation of Genesis and the other Biblical accounts of creation as YEC.

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James Stevenson

April 29, 2013  9:49pm

Rick, I agree with you and echo your concern that YEC could damage faith rather than restore it.

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james .

April 29, 2013  6:00pm

On the 1st day God said "Let there be light". And Bang! there was light. The 2nd day Bang! there was the "sky". Bang! there was land etc. Suppose I propose a Bang Bang Theory of around 10,000 years. Science may try to disprove it by their questionable dating systems, but God will eventually vindicate His truth on that appointed day. On the other issue, yes, teach evolution alongside creation. You need to see the other side's position to challenge it.

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bennett willis

April 29, 2013  5:23pm

YEC requires you to continually disbelieve what your eyes see and your hands touch. Few can stand this over the long haul.

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Herman Cummings

April 29, 2013  5:09pm

Both evolution, and Creationism ("old & young" Earth) are false, and do not convey the truth of Earth's origins and history. The ONLY correct opposing view to evolution is the "Observations of Moses". Creationism and Theology do not understand the Genesis text, have failed to do their homework, and are not prepared to address the origins issue. It is foolhardy to keep ignoring the truth, and teaching that which is a lie. What does it take for mankind to wake up to the truth? Herman Cummings ephraim7@aol.com

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Rick Dalbey

April 29, 2013  4:34pm

William, pick any college textbook, under graduate...graduate, doesn’t matter, for any of the sciences – geology, biology, botany, physics, astronomy, chemistry, archaeology, meteorology, paleontology – and see if any even mention the possibility of a 10,000 year old planet. Really, try it. Tell an archeologist than any of his digs that show a civilization older than 10,000 years is false, or a geologist that a mountain range can only be no more than 10,000 years old. That would be considered an attempt at humor. Even the language we use, like the distance of a nearby star being 100,000 light years away means we are looking at an object 100,000 years in the past. Call your state college and ask the science departments how many professors believe the earth is only 10,000 years old. I mean, really, actually try it, don’t just bluster that you know a couple guys or AIG has a list.

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Rick Dalbey

April 29, 2013  4:15pm

William, a 10,000 year old earth is just not science. Sorry. It may be faith, but not science. The Chinese have genealogies that go back 12,000 years. I've read Answers in Genesis for years, gone to lectures from YEC guys. Been doing this for 43 years. I love the Lord, I love the word of God. The fact that the earth is 4 billion years old as all scientists think does not negate my faith. In fact, the big bang 13.5 billion years ago is one of the strongest evidences for the need of a creator and is responsible for moving many scientists to faith in God. You can have your faith in a 10,000 year old earth, I have no problem with that. You may even go to your grave believing that. Just don't pretend it is science and force young people to think it is the ONLY option as the youth group leaders in our church did and paved the way for many shipwrecks of faith. It would be funny if it wasn't so serious to the consequences of young people's faith.

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William Markham

April 29, 2013  3:19pm

"Set them up for an inevitable loss of faith when confronted with any of the sciences." What a preposterous statement! Any of the sciences? Does the writer mean that if I do not accept his opinion, I am unworthy to contribute in ANY science? I wish that the writer could meet my friend, the research scientist with a doctorate in chemistry who has many patents in his field, and embraces a young earth view. He is one of many I can easily find. The belief in the origin of the earth as presented scripturally certainly does not exclude the believer from contributing in any scientific field. It certainly does not mean that I will find my faith false when confronted by professors with no faith. The writer vastly underestimates the fortitude of strongly held faith. It is the farcical belief that somehow a biblical literalist is somehow rendered inept, that is outrageous and to be ignored.

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robert puharic

April 29, 2013  2:42pm

Are Christians serious? Young earth creationism? Why isn't this being described in the same tones as astrology?

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Rick Dalbey

April 29, 2013  2:04pm

The position that the earth is 10,000 years old doesn't belong in a science textbook. We have architectural remains and city records older than that. To school a child like that and then send him out into the world is to set them up for an inevitable loss of faith when confronted with any of the sciences. And it doesn't have to be, the Bible doesn't require it and certainly the early church fathers and Rabbis held to a day/age interpretation. I have gone through a 40 year academic journey on this subject, and my library is fairly deep on the subject. I so appreciate honest, moderate evangelical scientists like Dr. Hugh Ross. There is more than one approach to Origins and YEC is plainly not supportable scientifically. If you insist on teaching your children that exclusively as a parent, prepare for a loss of faith. I speak as a 43 year Christian, a father and a grandfather.

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Arlene

April 25, 2013  9:12am

In addition to the resources mentioned in the article, the Reasons To Believe organization offers help for homeschooling parents with their "Good Science, Good Faith" course for high school students, the "Educator's Help Desk" for parents, and classes for teachers (CEU) and adults. http://www.reasons.org/education/overview

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